Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hey Unc

I was thinking about you today.

I didn't see you at Thanksgiving and you won't be at Grandma's for Christmas- not any more. If I close my eyes, I can imagine you're way up in Alaska. You're too far away for that now. Up in the stars, I'd have to go to the backyard and look up high to see you. Above the clouds, floating where I can't perceive you, but nonetheless, imprinted on my thinking and my soul.

You aren't supposed to be gone and maybe that's why I still think of you all the time. You should be here, stopping by for a visit and a beer. The boys remember our last time together at Tony Packo's in Toledo. Do you remember? You came to our house and waited on the porch with a six pack of beer. A&P got quite a charge out of that. I was worried the next day because you left without breakfast, but you told me later you stopped at a truck stop.

Christmas with you was always special. It was so far for you to come to visit. You always bought Indiana lottery tickets and posted the numbers on the board in the back hall by the kitchen- just in case some one won big. The deal included a split of the proceeds, but we never had to worry about that, did we? (Stupid odds).

Here's to a holiday season of joy and wonder as we wait for God's gift to us, but we miss you. I see you in the twinkling lights on the trees and in the snow flakes. My hope is that your adventuresome spirit and joy for living will be with us forever. How did you do it?

Love from Me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Letter to my Turkey

Dear Fresh, Never Frozen Turkey:

You may be big and scary, but I'm on to you. You may slide around on the rack and teeter precariously on the edge of your roaster, but I'm watching your every move. So help me if you end up on the floor.

The thermometer is like a nanny cam. You can't hide from me and I'll know when the juices run clear because I'm sitting 4 feet away from the oven and have been since 7 o'clock this morning.

I do have a question. Was it necessary for your Amish keepers to stuff your neck in? I didn't need to see that. I think there's soup I could make with that but the thought of it holding up your head was more than I could stomach so thanks for that.

I have at least 14 cookbooks splayed all over the kitchen and we've obsessively read every turkey cooking article on the Food Network website. Alton Brown? Giada? I can't decide who's better. Betty Crocker? To cover or not to cover? Baste? Where the heck is the baster? You're browing too early! What's wrong with my oven? Are my aromatics, aromatic enough? I grew my own thyme. Does that count extra?

With my arms covered in butter and turkey fat, I massaged you with butter just like Julia Child taught me on the poultry episode. She was molesting a capon, but I think this will work. Maybe I should do a good luck turkey dance in the front yard in my jammies.

Alas, everyone has a first turkey. I've cooked plenty of chickens so I will crown you a giant Thanksgiving chicken. Now, for more basting.

Sincerely, Foul Slayer

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Please pass the cranberries...

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful. Buddha

Thank you for boys who leave their socks on the floor, candy wrappers on the couch and the front door wide open in January. JBA

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. Woody Allen

Thank you for Blackberries to keep me busy. JBA

It is another's fault if he be ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so. Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Thank you for cold nights and a husband who dials the thermostat back to 50 degrees. He is warm and cuddly. JBA

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. Cicerco

Thank you for grocery stores so I don't have to grow my own food because we'd probably starve. JBA

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust

Thank you for books to read and argue about. JBA

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

Thank you for an occupation that allows me to exercise righteous indignation on a daily basis. JBA

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
Meister Eckhart

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I went to meat market to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving. I wanted a fresh Amish turkey.

I ran into the market 3 minutes before it closed at 6:30 pm. I knew they had fresh turkeys because a friend told me to get off my rump and buy one before they were all gone.

The meat market guy was very helpful and he managed to locate an 18 pound turkey. As he wrapped it up, I said "Hey! How long has that thing been thawing?"

He looked at me a bit strange. "It's fresh. Never frozen." Oh duh. "Yes, ma'am."

My poultry folly reminded me of a story told by my very first boss, Doris. Doris was one fierce lady, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, when Doris was first married she went to the butcher to buy a chicken. She asked the butcher to chop it apart (there's a name for that I'm sure, so that she had parts and not the whole chicken. )

As she watched the butcher work, she snorted "Hey, you shorted me some legs!"

"What?" he replied, amused.

Doris persisted. "I may be young, but I know that I'm supposed to have 4 legs on that chicken and you only gave me two. You're crooked!"

The butcher looked at her from behind the counter and started to laugh. It was then that Doris realized that chickens have only two legs.

I wonder if the chicken was fresh, never frozen?

Monday, November 23, 2009


My stitches came out of my jaw today. Hooray!

The follow up for this Exceedingly Annoying But Now Absent Jaw Tumor (EABNAJT) is aggressive due it's friendly nature. Bummer. Apparently the EABNAJT has a tendency to come back. Tim suggested a trap door in my face to keep easy access for its removal. Fantastic idea.

A button broke in half on my suit this morning. I glued it back together and used tape until the glue set. I felt very handy.

I read "Flowers for Algernon" this weekend. I had never read it before even as an English major. Clearly something was lacking. It is a fascinating read. Tim said it made him sad when he read it once a long time ago. I was OK.

I was not OK at "The Blind Side." Obviously I was in need of a serious catharsis and a box of tissue. I cried all the way through that crazy movie. I had to keep myself from sobbing out loud so Peter didn't think I was a crazy person. (I was sitting next to him and some lady. I didn't care what the lady thought. She was too chatty. If she would have said anything to me I would have said "I am sad because you can't shut your yammering skull cave." I'm sure that would have been appropriate.)

So, even with the EABNAJT, there's always fun around the corner.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Right in the Kisser

Thanks for your patience this week. I feel like I have been conked over the head, dragged into an alley, put in a box and sent UPS to Eastern North Dakota.

So far I've pretty much gone back to work and stopped sleeping all day. I started harassing A&P about school again and I even picked up carry out Chinese food. All of that has left me with zero energy or thought process to post to my blog.

Here's to hoping next week will find me back where I belong. On the upside, I am minus one pesky jaw tumor.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You must be joking

Phone Rings:

Grandma: Hello?
Kid: Oh Hi Grandma.
Grandma: Is your Mom alive?
Kid: Um, I'm not sure.
Grandma: What? You're not sure that she's alive?
Kid: She's standing here. Mom, are you alive?

Thanks, so nice to be noticed.

Door Opens:

Kid: Hey! You're home from the hospital!
Me: Yep.
Kid: Did you bring your tumor home in a jar so we could see it?

Thanks, but no.

Eyes Open:

Me: Hey!
Nurse: Hey!
Me: Where's my blackberry? I have work to do.
Nurse: Oh boy. Not today you don't. You're in recovery.
Me: Drat.

I can work, really.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Please Stand By....

Taking a break for a few days. Be back soon... early next week if not before... promise.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Overheard Daily

As shouting: The bus is will leave without you in 5 minutes
Hollering: You have three minutes!
Pleading: Where are your shoes?
Incredulous: I will not bake 4 dozen cookies for your noon English class today.
Emphatically: You do not have time to make a Josef Stalin costume in the 3 minutes before the bus comes!
Hollering louder: Two minutes people!
Under breath: Don't argue with me about the time. I make this up as I go.
Screeching: Where are you Peter? Andrew I have no idea where your calculator is.
Shouting: Seriously! Are you going to school barefoot?
Pleading: Put on your shoes! How do you have holes in your socks?
Hysterically: 30 seconds! What do you mean you need pencils!? No I didn't buy more erasers.
Conversationally: Have a good day. I love you.

I'd like to go back to bed please.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Family Promise

Once there was a lady who worked in New York. She was a busy marketing executive named Karen Olson and when running around from place to place she passed a lady- a homeless lady- every day on her way to work. One day, Karen gave the lady a sandwich. Karen was overwhelmed by the needs not only of the homeless lady on the corner but of those in her own community in New Jersey.

After the first sandwich, she went to the city frequently with her children to hand out sandwiches. Eventually, in her own community, Karen found that Sunday school rooms, empty all week, could be used to house homeless families at night. Volunteers fed them and helped parents find jobs and keep kids in school while the families got back on their feet.

Family Promise is active in many communities around the United States. You can follow this link here to find them in your own neck of the woods and volunteer to help. A&P have been hauled away from the XBox to help at Family Promise and other places. Just one meal will help.

When there is overwhelming need, it is hard to know where to start. One of my friends always says that we don't change the world alone and we don't have to do it all right now. Start on one street corner, with one lady and one sandwich.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stuff I Should Know by Now

Apparently I'm still learning...

Do not suck the last remnants of tequila out of the ice cubes in the margarita pitcher.
Do not try to disguise burned toast by scraping off the black parts.
Do not ignore the flashing coolant light on the dash board. It's probably not saying hello just to be friendly.
Sunlight shows dust. Only invite people over at night.
That pile of junk mail either needs to shredded or burned before it falls on someone and causes a papercut massacre.
Insurance companies are irrational nightmares. Get over it.
Peter will not empty the dishwasher unless asked 47 times in a row.
Vegetables cannot be disguised in cookies. It just makes the eaters angry.
One hour parking means one hour parking. (Money grubbing municipality, you know who you are.)
I will never find the other 12 black socks I'm missing. Stop trying to match them with each other.

There should be a manual.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why are you limping?

(Door Slams. Kid lumbers into view.)
Kid: (Emphatically) I HAVE A BUNION.
Me: What?
Kid: My foot hurts and I know I have a BUNION.
Me: Unless you're 50 years old or have been sneaking around in high heels all your life, you most certainly do not have a bunion.
Kid: Well, this foot sure hurts. (takes off shoe and waves foot in front of me.) Look at the part sticking out.
Me: Look on the other foot. I think you have the same sticking out part. It's just rubbing your shoe.
Kid: Nope. I don't think so. (Pauses to think.) It's got to be a hernia.
Me: (stifling guffaw here) It's not a hernia. Seriously.
Kid: But I can't walk and it hurts all the time- whenever I'm awake.
Me: Go to sleep.
Kid: You're not very nice.
Me: You need a medical terminology class.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I should print this sign on a t-shirt.

When I was little, my Mom used to call it "Getting up on the Wrong Side of the Bed."

I couldn't figure that out because my bed was up against the wall.

Once, I crawled out the end of the bed to see if that qualified as the "wrong side." It didn't work.

My sunny disposition has been sullied by a list of things to do as long as my arm which in turn is making me mean. Since my mood was foul anyway, I cleaned out the bathroom closet, the hallway closet, the pantry and anything else I could get my hands on. Our trash cans were glorious.

Back to the bears, I should be locked up in a cage with a tranquilizer dart sticking out of my rear end. I may attack for no apparent reason even if I got out of bed on the proper side.

Monday, November 2, 2009

If It Makes You Happy...

Another Monday morning breakfast conversation....

Kid: Hey! Basketball tryouts start right after school.
Me: Good Luck- I promise not to forget to pick you up.
Kid: I'm really good at lay-ups.
Me: Try your hardest!
Kid: I want to make the team so I can have a posse.
Me: Huh?
Kid: I'll be the star of the team and I'll have my own posse. They'll follow me all around. I'll be popular!
Me: OK, aim high.
Kid: Actually, I think I'm trying out to keep the seats warm. Do you think I can still have a posse? I have such nice hair...